KEY POINTS

  • Bloomberg told Sanders Russia was helping him win the elections
  • According to him, Russia thinks it would be easy for Trump to beat Sanders
  • Sanders hit back saying if he were president, Russia won't interfere in elections anymore

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg attacked Senator Bernie Sanders during Tuesday’s Democratic debate saying that Russia is interfering and helping Sanders with the elections.

Referencing anonymous intelligence reports, Bloomberg said that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Sanders to win the primaries and emerge as a Democratic presidential nominee because President Trump has good chances of beating the progressive independent in November.

“Russia is helping you get elected,” Bloomberg told Sanders in the opening minutes of the debate held in North Carolina. “Putin thinks Trump should be president of the United States and that’s why Russia is helping you get elected so you’ll lose to him,” he added.

Sanders hit back at Bloomberg recalling his past praise of China’s President Xi Jinping.

“I’m not a good friend of President Xi of China,” Sanders said. “I think President Xi is an authoritarian leader, and let me tell me to tell Mr. Putin, who tried to interfere in the 2016 election and tried to pit Americans against each other: Hey Mr. Putin, if I’m president, trust me, you won’t interfere with any more elections.”

Bloomberg’s comments came after reports surfaced that Russia was using social media to sow division in the 2020 Democratic primary. Sanders acknowledged last week that he was warned by the intelligence officials that Russian actors were attempting to interfere in the 2020 election on his behalf.

“Unlike Donald Trump, I do not consider Vladimir Putin a good friend. He is an autocratic thug who is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent in Russia. Let’s be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts, and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election,” Sanders said in a press release emailed to IBTimes.

However, Facebook said that it found no evidence of interference on Bernie Sander’s behalf.

“To date, we have not been able to substantiate the researcher’s claim and we have not been notified by the intelligence community,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Wall Street Journal. “Had we found a campaign of coordinated inauthentic behavior, we would’ve removed it and announced it publicly, just as we did more than 50 times last year.”

Sanders is currently the front runner in the Democratic Presidential Primaries and is looking to keep his post-Nevada momentum intact heading to South Carolina. 

Mike Bloomberg will be looking to rebound from his disastrous performance in his first debate and prove he is a credible, moderate alternative to the leftist Sanders Mike Bloomberg will be looking to rebound from his disastrous performance in his first debate and prove he is a credible, moderate alternative to the leftist Sanders Photo: AFP / Mark RALSTON